How Common are Mental Illnesses Globally?
Although the figures below give us some idea of the share of the world population with each disorder, it is important to recognise that these figures are estimates and are affected by many different factors. For example, the prevalence of anxiety disorders across the globe varies between countries, ranging from 2.5% to 7% (1).
Mental illness is widely underreported in many countries, so the actual number of people experiencing mental illness worldwide may be far greater than the numbers reported here. Additionally, mental illnesses often co-occur; one person may experience more than one illness, and this can affect the numbers associated with both illnesses. For example, it is not unusual for an individual with an anxiety disorder to also develop depressive disorders. In 2017, research estimates that a total of 970 million people, i.e. 13% of the global population, have a mental or substance use disorder.